Language and identity
This chapter considers the ties between language and identity. It deals with some 'tips for teachers' in the sense that it links theory/ research with practice. The chapter examines ways of discovering what languages are spoken by the children and their families and looks at visible features of some languages. It looks at practical ways of using first language in the classroom or setting through adapting books, learning vocabulary, recognising scripts, using play and meaningful contexts. The chapter describes some of the studies on what bilingual children can teach other bilingual or monolingual children about language. Displaying some recognition of the languages in the class or the group is a small token of respect and goes some way to indicate to all children and all families a respect for linguistic diversity. Young children who have had experiences of seeing the scripts of the languages of their homes and communities will try to include these in their early attempts at writing.